(Read the series so far.)
Abraham has waited thirteen years. He has watched Ishmael grow. But Ishmael is wild, and as he grows, friction in the family grows with him. But maybe, just maybe, Ishmael is the promised child. And for thirteen years the domestic gloom and growing darkness about God’s promise build. God has made a promise, but Abraham’s faith has faltered. In Genesis 17, God breaks back into the scene and confirms His covenant with Abraham while also calling him to a life of faith and holiness.
God guarantees His promises to His people (Gen. 17:1-8).
We mess up. We fail. I sometimes say I am going to do something then forget or don’t follow through. God doesn’t. His success rate is 100%.
Two things to note in light of God’s promises:
1. God calls His people to be faithful (Gen. 17:1-3).
Just as we can’t take the fulfillment of God’s promises into our own hands, we also can’t allow ourselves to grow complacent in awaiting God’s action. In verse 1, Yahweh reveals Himself to Abraham as “El-Shaddai” or “God Almighty.” This is a name of God that emphasizes God’s power and sovereignty. Nothing can stay His hand or thwart His plan.